Guide: Litigating self-defence in contexts of domestic violence against women
Evidence indicates that the majority of women who kill their intimate partners are, in fact,
defending their lives and/or the lives of their children from an attack within the context of domestic violence. However, despite the existence of legal defences, many women who try to protect themselves from imminent harm, or even death, face barriers to accessing justice and end up being convicted of and imprisoned for murder or other violent offences against life.
This Guide is intended to assist practitioners with some experience of litigating these issues or of litigating internationally. It identifies the main obstacles to justice in these cases and sets out the international standards to assist practitioners in challenging and overcoming these obstacles to the extent possible in current legal frameworks.